Mark Zuckerberg’s Visit to North Dakota Could Be a REALLY Good Thing

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Good ol’ Mark Zuckerberg is been making some rounds around the country lately. First he visited Alaska while writing about the need for a national basic income (isn’t that what minimum wage is?) and then next he shot off to North Dakota to spend some times with some folks in the oil and gas industry.

But did he learn anything while he was there? Is it possible that some good can come of this visit? Read more below.

As written for by John Sexton:

When last we checked in with Mark Zuckerberg he was visiting the state of Alaska and writing about the need for a national basic income. Yesterday, he spent the day in North Dakota talking with people employed by the oil and gas industry about fracking. From WDAY 6:

Zuckerberg visited a drilling rig before participating in a roundtable discussion with people involved in the oil and gas industry, said Shawn Wenko, executive director of the Williston Economic Development office. He said the visit came on very short notice.

“He came across as a very nice guy, very open to conversation,” Wenko said. “We were excited that, of all the places in the world he could choose to go, he chose to come here and understand the oil and gas industry.”

credit: Alessio Jacona

Zuckerberg published a post on Facebook describing his three takeaways from the visit. The first two had to do with the dynamics of living in an energy boom town. The last had to do with fracking itself.

Zuckerberg is obviously concerned that his liberal/progressive readers are aware that he knows the “right” answer here. He says a renewable energy future is just around the corner and points out that his company is already committed to 100% renewable energy. But to his credit, he manages to humanize the people on the other side of the argument. The detail about people celebrating the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline is a nice touch and a story I’d not heard before. Even more striking is his statement about not demonizing people who are providing the energy the country currently needs.

Don’t get me wrong, I suspect Zuckerberg is a big fan of the Sierra Club and believes, like they do, that fossils fuels should be left in the ground. What’s impressive here is that, despite that and the pressure that comes with being a multi-billionaire with a big megaphone, he doesn’t throw everyone on the other side under the bus. That’s an improvement over his recent visit to a truck stop in Iowa where he wanted to talk about self-driving trucks.

Mark Zuckerberg Visits North Dakota, Learns About Fracking

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